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Shanghai exhibition held to honor ancient Chinese writer

People's Daily Online | Updated: 2016-11-15 13:27

Shanghai exhibition held to honor ancient Chinese writer

[Photo/People's Daily Online]

On Nov 12, an exhibition of China's opera figures paintings was opened in Shanghai. The exhibition remembers the 400th anniversary of the death of Chinese author Tang Xianzu.

Tang Xianzu (1550-1616), a celebrated playwright, whom fans call "China's William Shakespeare".

Tang, who lived in the same era as William Shakespeare, was an outstanding writer during the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644). His masterpieces are collectively called "Four Dreams", since the protagonists' respective dreamlands are key to the plots of each work.

"The Peony Pavilion", one of the Four Dreams and also Tang's most famous work, is renowned worldwide. It is also recognized for its ideological emancipation and anti-feudalism, representing Romanticism in Chinese literature. The work is traditionally performed onstage in the style of Kun opera.

Xie Chunyan, both an artist and chairman of China's Opera Figure Painting Institute, explained that Tang pursued a romantic, spiritual realm, and criticized feudal society. These are the sentiments in Tang's "Four Dreams". The literary treasures that Tang left for future generations should be passed down and illustrated in various forms, including paintings, according to Xie.

The exhibition will remain open until Nov 27. After its close, the paintings will be displayed in the city of Shaoxing, Zhejiang province from Dec 2 to 18.


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